A Johnson County man is facing a possible life sentence after pleading guilty last week to federal meth charges.

According to court documents, Proctor Wayne Pennington Sr., 65, pleaded guilty Friday to a charge of conspiring to distribute 500 grams of methamphetamine and a charge of distribution of methamphetamine before U.S. District Court Judge Karen K. Caldwell in Pikeville.

According to a statement from U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky Robert M. Duncan Jr., Pennington is scheduled to be sentenced in the case Dec. 16 and faces between 15 years and life in prison in connection with the case.

The investigation was conducted by Drug Enforcement Administration personnel and the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, the statement said.

According to a plea agreement in the case, between October and April, Pennington developed an arrangement with a meth supplier in Louisville, through whom he regularly obtained ounce to multi-ounce quantities of the drug. In total, the agreement said, the arrangement allowed Pennington to obtain more than 500 grams of methamphetamine, which he then distributed in Johnson County.

Court documents said several controlled buys of the drug from Pennington were conducted earlier this year and, on April 3, he was found to be in possession of an ounce of the drug.

“Methamphetamine is a highly addictive, dangerous drug that is ruining many lives in Eastern Kentucky,” Duncan said in the statement. “Our office, along with our law enforcement partners, remain committed to holding methamphetamine traffickers accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

Pennington was also convicted in a 2010 federal case of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, for which he served a prison term of more than one year.

Because of the prior serious drug felony conviction, the statement from Duncan’s office said, Pennington is subject to an enhanced sentence.

“The defendant’s significant drug trafficking undoubtedly contributed to the increased availability of methamphetamine in the region,” said U.S. Attorney Duncan. “The defendant’s prior conviction for drug trafficking makes his conduct in this case even more serious. As a prior convicted drug trafficker, he is likely facing a more severe sentence for his crimes.”

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